Converse unveiled newly redesigned iconic Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers last week, the first change to rock the classic shoe in 98 years.
Converse President and CEO Jim Calhoun predicted that the Chuck Taylor All Star II would usher in “not just a new sneaker, but a completely new way of thinking.” In reality, the shoe may leave shoppers wondering what exactly has changed.
The All Star patch is “fully embroidered,” for starters, and the eyelets now come in “monochrome matte.” So much for the exterior.
Converse wisely reserved the biggest changes for the interior, upgrading the materials in an attempt to give wearers a more comfortable fit. The cushioning has been updated to Nike Lunarlon sockliner, a trademark foam technology developed by Converse’s parent company, Nike. A snugger, padded collar and a redesigned tongue were designed to reduce slippage. A perforated “micro suede” liner enhances breathability.
“The expectations of kids is that things will be broken in, ready to use, super comfortable, super functional from the minute it leaves the store,” Calhoun said in an interview with Fortune.